Category Archives: Creative

Kill Your Darlings

it-always-helps-to-keep-these-gems-of-writing-wisdom-close-at-hand

I’m designing some things here and there, mostly just for the fun of it. I thought this would be a fun and handy reminder for all my writer friends out there. Sometimes it sucks, but we occasionally have to kill our darlings to improve our craft.


The 10 BEST Things You Can Do For Your Writing Career

Invest In Yourself!

That right there is my #1 rule for any kind of writing success. Give yourself the right tools, the right tribe, and the right mindset to get your writing where you want it to be.

You want an actionable list of things you can do to invest in yourself? Awesome! I put together a countdown for you. Check it out.

10. Writer’s Digest Is Your Friend

Their shop has all kinds of AMAZING courses, tutorials, webinars, and other resources for you to use! You can even use this coupon when you shop there! $10 Off Any Workshop at Writers Digest University at Writers Digest Shop. Use coupon code AFFTEN during checkout.

9. The Irresistible Novel by Jeff Gerke

If you’ve been struggling and trying to figure out what story you really want to write, this book is for you! Get Your Copy Here!

8. A Writer’s Guide to Persistence by Jordan Rosenfeld

This book has gotten me through SEVERAL hard knocks over the course of my writing career, so far. If you need a constant companion to help you buck up or buckle down, this book is the resource you’ll come back to over and over again!  Get your copy of A Writer’s Guide to Persistence HERE! (Or check THIS out: Becoming Persistent: How to Survive and Thrive on the Path to Publication)

7. Notebook.ai

If you’re anything like me, and it helps to have someone (in this case something) to talk to/ask you questions about your stories when you’re in the planning phase, get in on this ASAP! I am in LOVE with Notebook.ai. You can sign up HERE.

6. 5,000 Words Per Hour (Book & App) by Chris Fox

I honestly can’t even BEGIN to tell you how much more productive I am as a writer after reading this book and downloading the app! Get the book HERE.

5. Invest In Your Cover!

I’ve come across some truly amazing cover designers on Facebook guys! I’m just going to give you a bulleted list here. I highly recommend checking them all out and seeing who best suits your style (or your price range)!

4. PublishDrive

Since Pronoun’s closing, a lot of writers are looking for new wide publication options outside of simply uploading to KDP. If you’re looking to go wide, PublishDrive will get you where you want to be!

3. The Plot Genie

If you’re anything like me, working with The Plot Genie (a.k.a. Heather Cardona) will save your (writing) life! Seriously, join her group HERE. I promise you WILL thank me for this.

I always find myself second-guessing all the plotting I’ve done, and I always worry about my pacing, because it’s not my strong suit. You don’t have to worry about that when you work with The Plot Genie. She does everything from taking outlines you’ve already done and fixing them up to make them even MORE addictive, to writing your outlines FOR you if you don’t want to be bothered!

2. Creative Central With Debbie Burns

This is an AMAZINGLY positive and uplifting group for creatives on Facebook. You can find it HERE. If you join, I can PROMISE you that you’ll find some of your most faithful tribe members here.

1. Rebecca Hamilton & OTOH, Books!

I really can’t say enough about how wonderful Rebecca is, both as a person and as a service provider for authors! She has several Facebook groups and a website. All I can tell you is JOIN EVERYTHING! You never know when or where she’s going to post some kind of incredible opportunity, service, course, or deal on any of the above! There’s a reason I’ve listed her at #1, guys.

OTOH Website
OTOH: Author Marketing for Kindle, Nook, & iBooks
genreCRAVE Open Discussion


NaNoWriMo 2017 | Day 1

You can check out one of my favorite NaNoWriMo tools from Writer’s Digest at the link below!

Free Shipping on $25


Getting Ready for NaNoWriMo 2017

That’s right, I’m doing it again. National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo for short) is right around the corner, and I’ve committed to doing it again this year. I’m taking a short break from my Otherworld Trilogy to start my Murphy Family Mysteries series. So, what book am I doing this year?

Murphy'sLaw of theJungle

This will be the first of many mysteries for the zany but endearing Murphy family. I’m not letting myself do a whole lot of over-planning for this one. I’m trying to short-circuit my perfectionist tendencies that usually make me bog down in my writing. This year, I intend to make steady progress and have an extremely rough draft to work from by November 30.

What tools do I have in my arsenal for this November? Here’s a short list:

  • LOTS OF COFFEE
  • A Basic Idea of Where the Story Is Going
  • The 5KWPH App/Technique Developed by Chris Fox
  • My Bullet Journal/Planner
  • Pens
  • Papers
  • Notebooks
  • Supportive Family & Friends Who Will Hold Me Accountable Via Our Facebook Group
  • My Awesome Word Count Widget In the Sidebar of My Blog! →
  • My Fantastic Blogging Community
  • Some New ADHD Management Techniques I Learned from Overcoming Distractions by David A. Greenwood
  • My Amazing Friend Lacey At The Creative Kitchen & Her YouTube Channel (Daily Check-Ins Are Totally Going to Happen)
  • My Trusty, Well-Worn Copy of A Writer’s Guide to Persistence
  • Did I mention COFFEE?

Well, that’s about all I have for you guys right now! 🙂 Stay tuned for all the NaNoWriMo shenanigans!

For Excellent Writing Resources, Check Out WritersDigestShop.com!


I'm a Writer's Digest Affiliate Now!

confetti

I’m really excited about this news, you guys! I absolutely LOVE Writer’s Digest products, and I use them all the time. When I get my own YouTube Channel set up, you’ll see me reviewing them there pretty regularly. So, this is me just giving you a heads-up that I may now make some revenue if you choose to click certain Writer’s Digest links you find on my blog!

Free Shipping on $25


I’m a Writer’s Digest Affiliate Now!

confetti

I’m really excited about this news, you guys! I absolutely LOVE Writer’s Digest products, and I use them all the time. When I get my own YouTube Channel set up, you’ll see me reviewing them there pretty regularly. So, this is me just giving you a heads-up that I may now make some revenue if you choose to click certain Writer’s Digest links you find on my blog!

Free Shipping on $25


Honing Your Horror Workshop: Part 3

 


Honing Your Horror Workshop: Part 2

 


Win $2,000 In Author Services!

Enter HERE. I sure did! Good luck, everyone!


Honing Your Horror Workshop: Part 1

Here’s the video from my first writing workshop hosted at The Creative Kitchen in Bay Minette! HUGE shout-out to the owner, Lacey Collier, for working with me and hosting my events!


Are You Called To Write?

Have you ever had a thought like this? Man, I’d really love to write a book someday, but I have no idea where to start.

I used to have similar thoughts, but I worked my butt off over the past 11 years, and I’ve been published in Flash Fiction Magazine, Noir Nation No. 3, as well as having self-published A Collection of Reflections (poetry) and Frost: An Otherworld Tale (my debut novel).

If you love a good story, that love is all you need to become a writer. I’ve invested a lifetime of passion and thousands of dollars in learning about writing craft and the publishing industry, and I’d love to share what I’ve learned with those of you who have an inner storyteller begging to get out.

If you’d like to learn more, you can reserve your seat at my upcoming writing workshop dates HERE. The workshops will be held at The Creative Kitchen in my aweome hometown of Bay Minette, Alabama.

Here’s a fun exercise for those of you considering attending the workshop (or anyone who wants to join in, for that matter):

Describe your worst fear in a single paragraph, but there’s a catch; you cannot name your fear in the paragraph. Post your answers in the comments and we’ll try to guess your fear!


Hosting My First Workshop!

I’m SUPER EXCITED to be sharing this news with you all: I’m hosting my first ever writing workshop series at The Creative Kitchen in Bay Minette! I’m also TCK’s new resident writer, so I’ve got a lot to be excited about right now.

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Honing Your Horror is a 3-week Creative Writing Workshop series that meets once a week. This series will meet each Saturday at 11:30 starting Sept. 23rd with its last meeting being Oct 7th. Seats are $60 for the entire workshop ($20/week) with complimentary food & drink being served.

You will meet with me as I lead our group in a series of group exercises and discussions drawn from the many writing craft resources I’ve invested in over the years, as well as my personal experiences in the writing and publishing industry. You will receive personal feedback from me on the pieces you craft in the workshop, as well as positive, constructive critiques from the group as a whole.

TCK’s Lacey Garner had this to say about the workshop: Chelsea wrote within her imagination as a young girl and has made her dream come true through her hard work and determination that has lead to the production of Frost: An Otherworld Tale, a collection of poetry called A Collection of Reflections, as well as many publications within Magazines and Blogs.

By reserving your seat in this workshop, you will learn how to:

  • Tap into your subconscious for good suspense.
  • Draw inspiration from your everyday life and fictionalize it.
  • Paint a compelling story.
  • Shape & mold your phrasing.
  • Decide on your best conclusion.Surround yourself with fellow writers in a like-minded, workshop setting for strong content. Learn from a local published Author as you listen to her advice and gain from her experience. To reserve your seat simply call TCK at 251-753-9210 or book on Eventbrite.

I really hope to see you there, guys!


Enid Bagnold On Writing | Quote of the Day 8/24/17

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Enid Bagnold On Writing | Quote of the Day 8/24/17

QOTD 8_24_17


William S. Burroughs on Quality | Quote of the Day 8/23/17

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William S. Burroughs on Quality | Quote of the Day 8/23/17

QOTD 8_23_17


PSA for Readers

Do you love an author who hasn’t hit the bestseller lists yet? Want them to be successful? YOU CAN HELP.

I know you’re sitting in your chair at home, frowning at me, wondering what you can possibly do to help out that author you love. Whether they’re traditionally published or independently published, authors need reviews to survive in this business, much less succeed. If you’re going to take the time to read their work, why not take a couple of minutes to let them know what you thought about it?

Honest, constructive reviews are necessary for authors’ survival these days. Ratings determine your author ranking, and ultimately how many people have the opportunity to discover your book. People who haven’t “hit it big” in the writing business can’t really afford to put ads for their books in front of millions of people the way bigger publishing houses and bestseller list authors can. If they’re anything like me, they can’t afford to pay for ads at all. So, your reviews are extremely important for authors, but especially those who haven’t “hit the big time” yet.

Your voice matters, and you can be the voice that helps amazing new authors get discovered by a broader audience than they could ever hope to reach without you. If you love to read, I implore you to review the books you read because the authors need your voice to be heard for theirs to be heard. Readers completely dictate the writing industry. We do what we do FOR YOU.

So, if you love a new, as yet undiscovered author, please review their work everywhere you possibly can. Tell the industry what you want to see more of. Not only do you get to see more of what you want when you take the time to write reviews, when that undiscovered author you love hits the bestseller list, you can tell everyone around you, “I TOLD YOU SO! I loved them before they were big. Don’t believe me? Check the dates on my reviews. I told the entire world this would how awesome this author is. Nice of the rest of you to catch up with me!”


Tweaking My Process

As a writer, I’ve struggled with my personal process for quite some time now. Those who know me well enough to be privy to my process can attest to the fact that I have plagued by perfectionism and over-planning for my entire writing career up to this point.

So, since I’ve been working on streamlining and minimizing in my home life, I decided to go for it in my writing life, too! It’s simultaneously freeing and terrifying, but I think it’s going to make me a much more productive and effective writer once I implement everything I intend to.

Depending on how well you know me and/or how long you’ve been following my blog, you may know that it took me almost 12 years to plan and execute Frost. Why? I’ll be honest with you, it had a lot to do with over-planning, perfectionism, and major story changes that took a long time to implement. Instead of just going with my gut and using only the tools I needed to plan and execute my story, I put it through every possible planning process I could get my hands on. In short, I did a lot of unnecessary work on the front end that kept me from really getting down to my writing.

If I’m being honest, the only way I finished the novel was that I ended up locking myself into a deadline I couldn’t avoid, and I had to get the actual writing done by then. Sure, my novel came out with some imperfections as a result of that, but I finally FINISHED it. I can’t even tell you what a relief it was to finally let go and move on. So, I’m taking a new approach to my writing life. I’m doing only what I absolutely need to planning-wise to get a solid overview of my story before I start writing.

I planned a 16-chapter romance novel with two scenes per chapter in the space of a single day, and very few people will realize what a feat that was for me. When I finish writing it, I plan on submitting it to a traditional publisher of romance, but I will probably be publishing it under a pen name. Why? I feel like publishing it under another name that people don’t associate with me can open me up to more of a creative flow, and make it easier for me to work without the fear of poor judgment from others.

So, to sum up the entire point of this post, I’m just celebrating the fact that I’ve finally learned to take only what I need from all the writing guides I’ve got. To top that off, I’m making the process work for me, thus significantly speeding up turnaround on my work!

*throws celebratory confetti and pats self on back*


Surreal

I’m sitting at my desk, staring at a print copy of my first published novel, and it somehow just does not feel real. I’m holding it in my hands, and I keep waiting to wake up and realize that I still haven’t accomplished anything with my writing. Frost is out in the world. People are buying copies, and I’m tracking sales and downloads on a daily basis. For some crazy reason, though, I keep waking up and wondering if this is real, or if I just dreamed it all and I’m still a failure as a writer. I’m not really sure how to shake this feeling of things being surreal.

Will it feel more real when I get my first royalty check? Will it feel more real when I start signing copies for friends and family? Would it feel more real if I had a launch party? Any thoughts or advice are welcome.


Is Resistance Futile?

I tend to obsess about things pretty regularly. I fixate, and when I do I fixate HARD. Right now, I’m trying to resist the urge to check my sales stats for Frost. Should I be resisting? Probably so. If I don’t resist the compulsion to constantly check for updates, I’m probably going to end up driving myself insane.

How could I drive myself insane with that information? There’s the list, as it currently stands.

  • I’m not doing an official book launch right now, so I can’t expect the sales to be spectacular in the first place.
  • I’m not doing any official marketing at the moment, which also won’t help my sales.
  • Professional envy. I’m not going to lie, I’ve got it bad, but it’s something I’m working on because I know that comparison breeds misery. Better to work on staying in my own lane and keeping positive.
  • I’m already too impatient, and checking sales compulsively only makes me more impatient.

I bet you’re wondering why I’m not doing a launch or marketing the novel when I’ve just released it. Honestly, I just don’t have the time or the energy for it right this minute because I feel there are certain personal matters that are a much more pressing need at this point. My son is due to arrive in a little less than four months, and I have to pick up the slack I left in my life when I dropped everything to focus on finishing and releasing my first novel.

I guess I’m just in a really weird, restless place in my professional writing life right now. I don’t really know what to do about it. Any advice you have is welcome.


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